Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody

What is the difference between joint and sole custody in the context of a Family Law case in Kentucky, including Family Law cases in Oldham County and Jefferson County?

A great discussion of the difference is contained in the Kentucky Supreme Court case of Pennington v. Marcum, Ky., 266 S.W.3d 759 (2008).

Custody of children is “either sole or joint.” Pennington, 266 S.W.3d at 767. Under a joint custody arrangement “both parents have responsibility for and authority over their children at all times” Pennington, 266 S.W.3d at 764.

The Court went on to say that “a significant and unique aspect of joint custody is that both parents possess the rights, privileges, and responsibilities associated with parenting and are expected to consult and participate equally in the children’s upbringing.” Id. According to Pennington, joint custody means “joint decision making” Pennington, 266 S.W.3d at 767.

The difference between joint custody and sole custody is the difference in this decision-making capability. In a joint custody situation decision making is vested in both parents. In a sole custody situation, decision making is vested in one parent. Pennington, 266 S.W.3d at 767.

Joint Custody Sole Custody Family Law, Oldham County Jefferson County Kentucky

Even if one parent is granted custody, or even primary residence, the other parent is generally entitled to visitation rights unless the court finds that “visitation would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.” See, KRS 403.320.

The experienced Family Law attorneys at The Gailor Law Office, PLLC have handled both sides of complex custody cases in various counties throughout Kentucky, including Jefferson County and Oldham County.

Call Jason Dattilo at The Gailor Law Office today to discuss any Family Law issue. A free consultation will be provided upon request, and clients are free to use the office’s convenient and free onsite parking.

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